Last week, on Free Book Friday, I asked some questions: “What barriers get in the way of knowing you’re deeply loved? What keeps you from experiencing the love of Jesus in a personal and profound way?”
A recurring theme in your honest answers: fear. Fear that you’re not good enough; that the only acceptable standard is the impossible one, perfection. Fear based on what we heard (or didn’t hear) in our childhood. Fear born of disappointment, and of the mistaken conclusion that those disappointments mean that God does not love us. That he does not believe we are worthy.
One thing I love about this blog–we’re a small but deep group of people who feel safe talking about what is really going on–the joys and the struggles, the beauty and the mess.
Some of your responses brought tears–life is not easy for any of us. Thank you for your honesty.
But I do want to offer some encouragement to those of us who are letting the voice of fear speak a bit too loudly. I believe it is the time to tell the voice of fear to shut up.
We often think the opposite of love is hate–but I don’t think that’s true. The opposite of love is fear. The Bible says perfect love casts out fear. But the opposite seems also be true, as your stories attest: fear keeps love out.
When we conclude, based on the challenges or disappointments of life, that God does not love us or find us worthy–that’s listening to the voice of fear, which is not God’s voice. The voice of love says “I did not cause this pain, but I’m with you in it.”
You are deeply loved. But in order to believe that, you will have to be brave. There’s a verse in the Old Testament book of Joshua where God tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” He doesn’t say, then you’ll have no problems. In fact, he tells Joshua this as he’s about to face the biggest challenge of his life. He doesn’t say it will be easy. But he does say, “I’ll be with you.” That’s the only thing that can overcome fear: God’s presence.
How do we experience that presence? That’s what Deeply Loved is all about–practicing the presence on a daily basis. But here’s a hint: we can’t experience it in a hurry, and we can’t experience it if we don’t first just tell fear to shut up.
Today, what can you do to listen to the voice of love? What is that voice, God’s voice, telling you? (Hint: if it’s a message of guilt, shame or blame–that is NOT God’s voice). He is saying, “You are my precious child, I love you, and I will be with you no matter where you go. Nothing you’ve done can separate you from my love.”
What truth will you focus on today to banish the voice of fear in your life? What step of courage will you take?
The voice of love says “I did not cause this pain, but I’m with you in it.”
Beautifully put, Keri. God’s presence is promised as a comfort.
For me, the times I might start to give in to fears that I am not good enough or not doing enough or that I have done something worthy of condemnation, I find peace and rest and love in God’s word. Passages like Romans 8:1 tell me that any condemnation I sense is not of God, and in Luke 4:16-21 Jesus made it abundantly clear that he came to set a captive like me free from the encumbrances of my own sins. There are plenty more, and I visit them often in order to keep a clear view of my relationship with God and how freeing – and free of fear – it truly is.
God is the one that keeps me moving forward and helps to alleviate the fear that builds up in me. My mother and sister were greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy and being that I live far from them, I have had great fear for them. When I open the Bible each day, a verse jumps out at me to help me through this trying time. God protects!
Thank you so much! There was something I was struggling with until I read this with tears streaming down my face! Thank you once again! God bless!
Dawn, Michelle and Tim, thanks for your comments. The journey away from fear (into the arms of love) is just that: a journey. So glad to encourage you as you take steps (and that you can encourage one another with your comments as well).
[…] I just found this blog Telling the voice of fear to shut up! Check it […]
Fear takes your joy and keeps you in a state of constant turmoil. Fear of losing someone you love has removed my joy and peace for a long time. My sin caused the fear and separation from God. It is the worst feeling I ever had and guilt was very active in my walk. This effected my marriage, and job to the point of being in constant misery, shame, guilt and turmoil.To know that you are loved and valued by another is a wonderful gift and blessing.if you have this blessing do not take it for granted because you will lose what is rare and such a blessing. What keeps me going is that God still loves me and he will never aband me. My goal now is to take the love that I have for a special person and give it to God and help others. I can never love another man like I do now. I will love him till I breath my last breath. I still pray for reconciliation but I will thankfully except that God has provided friendship only. I know fear will still pop in and visit because I am in a season of growth and renewal and I am not perfect. Please add me to your prayer list and ask me for prayer also for you. God Bless
Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you’ve had some difficult circumstances. You’re right about this though: God loves you. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, even our sin and fear. Sometimes in order to receive what God has for us, we have to let go of things we’re clinging to and open our hands. Blessings to you.